May 30, 2016

conversations with Eisley (part eight)...

Me: If you could have a job anywhere, where would you want to work?
Eisley: Australia.

Eisley (right after waking up in the morning): I dreamed I was kissing someone.
Me: Oh, dear. Kissing someone? Was he a prince?
Eisley (concerned): No. I think it was a pastor. And I had to marry him. And I was like, "What?! I don't want to marry an old man! I don't want to kiss a grandpa!"

Eisley (to Jay, after he kisses her goodbye): Your whiskers are prickly. You need to grow those back in.

Eisley (sneaking bites of lunch before it's done): I just can't resist the tuna!

Me: What's your bunny's name?
Eisley: (pause) Officially? Jojo.

Eisley (walking by with words of encouragement as I get ready for the day): I don't think you look like poo. I think you look beautiful!

Eisley: (writes name with brown marker)
Me: That looks great!
Eisley: It's brown. Like my skin!
Me: Your skin is brown?
Eisley: Nope.

Eisley: Is there food in heaven? 'Cause I wanna eat food in heaven.

— Further reading: More conversations with Eisley here

May 26, 2016

current thoughts on blogging...

It's been so long since I've written consistently that I feel completely rusty. I remember the days, nearly a decade ago, when I had the luxury of sitting down at a computer whenever I felt like it. Or, you know, sat at a computer 40 hours a week at what I realize now was a fantastically laid-back front desk job. (I wonder if they realized how much they were paying me to essentially browse the internet and/or blog most of my shift. I was living the twenty-something dream.) Even with a full-time job, I had free time spilling out my ears and had no idea what busy even meant. Ah, youth.

Now, naturally, things are significantly different. Even this morning, as I chose to wake up early to essentially shotgun a cup of coffee and sit down with our shiny new laptop (purchased with a portion what we had been saving as Big Move money, the rest of which now will be poured into some investment account or another) my oldest child decided to wake up at 5:45 and drowsily walk around the corner like a precious little zombie child in search of breakfast.

Despite my love of sweet, sweet slumber, I somehow find myself in a family of early risers. After nearly five years of motherhood, this is my new normal. (It would be less brutal if the baby were sleeping slightly better, but alas. We're nowhere near a full night of sleep, so it's time to accept my fate and realize that I make babies who aren't sleepers. But thank goodness Cora is a gem in every other way!) The only real irritation is trying to carve out any child-free time to sit down behind the glow of a computer screen to type, type, type in silence. Do I become a crazy person and wake up at 5AM, slowly navigating the creaky floorboards of our apartment like an even crazier person in order to make a quick cup of coffee and sit down at the kitchen to write without waking up a child (or two)?

Still, I'm here, and I miss writing and creating in this way so much that I'm willing to forfeit any bit of morning half-sleep that I may get after the baby's last feeding and just...get back to the daily practice of writing, I suppose.

To be honest, for the past year I've had to fight the urge to just completely quit blogging. For many reasons. I didn't feel like I had much to say and there were (and are) so many women out there doing so many exceptional things, despite busy lives and big families. I felt out of practice, without any time to dedicate to such things, without much to say worthy of writing. I also have struggled with figuring out how to blog now that I have a family. I realize how much I would share in my early-twenties—when both blogging and my life were so different. Now, even if I want to share every story, opinion and corner of my (highly emotional) heart, I've come to realize this isn't the place. The internet is, quite frankly, much bigger and much less safe than I feel it was a decade ago. And I think a lot about protecting my children as opposed to sharing every piece of their childhood with an audience that is largely unknown.

There is much I still want to (and will) share—after all, being honest and vulnerable about many things is simply a part of sharing your story. It has been one of the main reasons I have blogged (somewhat inconsistently) for the greater part of a decade.

I'm not the "typical blogger" because I still don't have Facebook and have absolutely no desire to have one for the foreseeable future. (I do have an account that I use for a couple groups I'm a part of, but I'm terrible even keeping up with those because Facebook is so overwhelming to my brain.) I'm rarely on Twitter anymore, because if I have the app on my phone I end up mindlessly scrolling through it a few times a day and apparently I have no self-control with these things. I have Instagram, but it's private and I don't add anyone I don't know (which gives this people-pleaser legit heart palpitations). I'm dreadful when it comes to replying to comments (I definitely want to get better at this) and email will forever be the bane of my existence (no, really—there have been seasons of life when I realize I have emails from over a year ago that I never replied to).

This is all to say that I'm quite glad I stuck around, and that I am eager to share my life here again. But I'm also finding a new way to share it. One that somehow fits into the incredibly busy season of life I'm currently navigating.

I want to grow my blog, but I love knowing I don't have to follow the same formula as others around me.

I'm grateful so many of you have stuck around to follow my story for so many years! It's amazing to me, all the friendships that have been the direct result of this corner of the internet. I consider myself a lucky gal to have been so loved and encouraged by so many of you over the past ten years. I rather enjoy when the lines between "online friends" and "real-life friends" become beautifully blurred.

April 6, 2016

Walmart Beauty Box: Spring 2016 (a review!)...

Walmart Beauty Box: Spring 2016 (a review!) |
It's been ages since I've reviewed one of these boxes, but I've been receiving them now for more than a year and haven't quit yet. I love how they only arrive once every season, cost a mere $5 (including shipping) and are filled with drugstore products I can actually afford. As much as I'd love to splurge on the more high-end subscription boxes, I know this is more up my alley during this season of life, and I always look forward to seeing what is tucked inside!

Walmart Beauty Box: Spring 2016 (a review!) |
If you want to begin receiving this seasonal beauty box, you can visit the website here. As I mentioned before, they ship out four times a year—at the beginning of each new season. I feel like I should mention that I don't get anything if you sign up and this isn't a sponsored post—I'm just sharing the goodness because I've enjoyed receiving these boxes, and everyone I know who has subscribed has loved them, as well! It's so inexpensive, but it still feels like a little way to treat yourself four times a year. Yes, indeed.

Here's a look at what I received for the Spring 2016 Beauty Box:
Walmart Beauty Box: Spring 2016 (a review!) |
Biore Pore Unclogging Scrub — I've used so many random facial scrubs over the years, so this will be next on the list once I'm through using my current one! I like using samples for facial scrubs, face wash and body wash in-between using new, full-size products. You'd be surprised how much use you can get out of one of these samples…especially for a product like this.

Vera Wang Embrace — This perfume smells wonderful. I rarely wear actual perfume (I typically stick with my go-to roll on) but I've already been wearing this sample almost daily.

Neutrogena MoistureSmooth color stick — At first I wasn't sure I was going to like this lip color, mostly because I'm so used to a more glossy feel. This is definitely more of a lip stick as opposed to gloss, but after a few tries I'm totally hooked. I love this pink color, and it doesn't dry out my lips at all. I love that this sample is a generous size, and I'm assuming it'll last for quite some time.

CeraVe healing ointment — I've never used this before, but it's definitely being added to my diaper bag for on-the-go. It works very well on my hands and I love to have an unscented option for this sort of product!

Colgate Optic White toothpaste — Toothpaste samples? Yes, please. Always. Please and thank you. (Am I the only person who randomly runs out of actual toothpaste and has to raid random places in our apartment to find samples to use until I buy more?)

Jergens Natural Glow moisturizer — I've loved this product for years. It's a summertime staple for this fair-skinned gal. When I get a bit of sun, I follow it up with this lotion for a few days, which makes it look like I have a borderline tan. Insert praise-hands emoji here!

John Frieda Brilliant Brunette shampoo — When my hair was a bit darker than it is now, I used this shampoo for a while. It ended up costing more than I'm generally willing to spend on shampoo, but I did like how it made my hair shiny and soft.

Curel Itch Defense body wash — I haven't used this brand of body wash before, and I'm not necessarily itchy, but hey! I'll add it to my sample stash.

Additional single-use samples/coupons are included in each box, most notably a high-value coupon for $3 off Bert's Bees BB Cream (which I will totally try!).

Overall, I'm very pleased with this season's box! In the past, many boxes have included a full-size product (mascara, razor, etc.) but there were so many good samples in this one that I'm willing to let it slide. It is still worth the price to receive something filled with products I'll actually use.

Did you receive one this season? You'll have to let me know what you think!

— Further reading: Walmart Beauty Box—Spring 2015

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